We're not surprised that pizza tops the charts as one of America's favorite foods. Americans eat approximately 100 acres of pizza per day―or 350 slices per second. With all that dough, the varieties are endless. But this summer, feed your craving our way―topped with delicious (and healthy) seafood. Here are four of our favorite recipes, plus tips for making the perfect pie.
Grilled Pizzettes with Smoked Salmon and Capers
Summertime calls for lots of impromptu neighborhood get-togethers. If you're tired of basic hamburgers and hot dogs, add a new snack to the mix―grilled pizzas. These flavorful treats cook in less than 5 minutes. Just top a thin crust with Havarti cheese, smoked salmon, and salty capers, and you are cookin' with gas (or charcoal, if you prefer). A squeeze of fresh lemon juice adds just the right tartness.
Crab and Spinach Alfredo Pizza
When you're hungry for something different, don't dial your local pizza delivery. Thaw some frozen bread dough and pile on your own toppings. Warm, lump crabmeat and gooey cheese blend to form a pizza that's rich and delicious. Pour a chilled glass of white wine to enjoy while you wait.
Spicy Crawfish and Andouille Pizza on French Bread
Is this creation a Cajun feast or a pizza po'boy? Actually, it's both. Since crawfish season is under way, we can't think of a better way to enjoy this Louisiana favorite than on a pizza. And while we still love traditional pizza dough, we wanted to shake things up a bit―with French bread. Just top with Andouille sausage, crawfish, and your favorite cheese. Each bite is a crusty, cheesy, delicious mess―just the way we love it.
Anchovy and White Bean Pizza
Anchovies―you either love them or you hate them. Traditionally, pizza connoisseurs added the small fish to "The Works"―pies full of tomato sauce, mozzarella, meats, and loads of veggies. But there's no works here. For our version, just skip the rich tomato sauce in favor of olive oil, and trade Parmesan for mozzarella. Then, add lemon juice, Northern beans, and―if you dare―anchovies.
On balmy days, the last thing we want to do is turn on the oven. But we still need to eat, which is why the grill is our favorite summer appliance! It's easy to grill a pizza―use some olive oil to coat the rack and the dough. Cook the oiled side of the crust for just a few minutes and then turn it, apply toppings, and let it cook. To make things easier, try the ZaGrill Pizza Cooker. We tried a recipe for Grilled Shrimp Pizza―with a very tasty result. Our pie had an excellent smoky barbecue flavor, cooked evenly on both sides, and didn't stick. For more information on the ZaGrill, visit sahalie.com.
Bite by Bite
We've given you the basics on seafood pizza―now develop some of your own recipies.
• When spreading sauce (or applying toppings), leave a 1-inch border so the crust will crisp.
• To prevent sogginess, thoroughly drain (and pat dry) any topping that might add moisture. If your crusts are still soggy, try prebaking the crust for about 8 minutes; then cool and add toppings.
• Place the pizza pan on the lower rack closest to the heat source so the bottom will brown before the toppings and cheese overcook.
• For a crispier crust, slide pizza directly onto the oven rack for the last 2 minutes of baking.
• Cool baked pizza on a wire rack for 2 to 3 minutes before cutting to allow cooked cheese to set.
• For pizza that's just as good the next day―warm it up in the oven (400º) or in a hot skillet on top of the stove.